MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The Kremlin would like to see American businessman Michael Calvey among the participants at the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2019), Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the RT channel.
He said he does not know if Calvey, who is now under house arrest, will be allowed to participate in the event.
"I don’t know…I am not issuing the permit for that. Of course, we would prefer to see him among the participants," Peskov said responding to a question whether Calvey may receive the permit to attend the SPIEF.
Peskov called Calvey’s case "very unfortunate."
- Upper house speaker warns attempts of pressuring Russia over Calvey case doomed to failure
- Court recognizes extension of house arrest for US financier Calvey as lawful
- Lavrov discussed Calvey’s case with members of Int'l Investment Council, says source
- Michael Calvey released from jail, placed under house arrest
"We are very sorry about that. Of course, we would like to see Michael among the participants of the forum," he reiterated.
Peskov stressed that Calvey "has been quite an active player on the Russian market for more than fifteen years.
"We all know him as a very trustful businessman, devoted to Russian market," he said.
The Russian presidential spokesman stressed that the situation with Calvey won’t affect the US delegates’ participation in the forum
"Traditionally, they take part in the forum and they are going to continue this practice," he said.
This year, SPIEF-2019, dubbed "Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda," will take place on June 6-8.
The law is the law
Peskov stressed that all the legal procedures of Calvey’s case are in accordance with Russian law.
"There was a meeting between the French businessmen and President Putin a couple of months ago. The issue of this French citizen (Philippe Delpal, French business partner of Calvey - TASS) and Michael Calvey was raised during the meeting by the participants and Mr. Pouyanne (Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total) was among them. They received all the necessary explanations by President Putin. No explanations about the nature of the case, but the explanation that this is a case in strict accordance with Russian laws and we do hope that at the end those gentlemen will be freed. But nothing is being done voluntarily. So, it is a law in Russia and you have to agree with it, you have to follow this law," Peskov specified.
He refrained from giving definitions to Calvey’s case.
"I don’t think we are entitled to somehow give any definitions to the case of Michael Calvey. We don’t know the nature of the case," the spokesman noted.
In his opinion, lots of businessmen are protecting this case because they think that it is "a purely trade dispute that should be solved in Arbitrage, not in a criminal court or not through a criminal investigation."
"We have to wait until the investigation is over. If it is proven that this is not a trade dispute, then everything that is being done is correct. This is the case, and we have to be patient. We have to understand that those prosecutors, those investigators should have very serious reasons to put those gentlemen in jail for the period of investigation," Peskov explained.
Under Putin’s control
Peskov stressed that President Putin is keeping an eye on Calvey’s case.
"He is receiving information, he is receiving reports about that because that is quite a loud case and he understands that it provokes a lot of questions among foreign investors but a law is a law you have to obey," Putin’s spokesman concluded.
The Calvey case
Michael Calvey, founder and managing partner of the Baring Vostok private equity firm, was detained and later put in prison on suspicion of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($32.5) from the Vostochny Bank. Moscow’s Basmanny Court also ruled to arrest five more defendants in the case. The US investor was initially placed in a detention facility, but later he was placed under house arrest.